Burnley 2-0 Bolton Wanderers
Andre Gray’s brace helped the Clarets record their sixth win in eight games and kick-start a big week with a 2-0 victory against Bolton Wanderers at Turf Moor.
Two goals in the second half from the former Brentford striker secured the win, lifting the Clarets to fifth in the league, joint second in points and just four points off the top.
And it was just the tonic for Sean Dyche's men ahead of two away games this week, at Nottingham Forest and then at Ewood Park next weekend.
Dyche named an unchanged side from the team that won 2-1 at Rotherham United, with Rouwen Hennings replacing Fredrik Ulvestad on the bench the only change.
But it was the visitors who edged the opening half hour, with their first chance coming just three minutes in.
It was a swift move from Bolton as Gary Madine dummied a cross into the box to Darren Pratley, who set up Neil Danns for a first time effort from the edge of the box that was well tipped over by Tom Heaton.
The Clarets came even closer 15 minutes later as Gray pounced onto a Ben Mee’s long clearance, beating Dorian Dervite for pace before producing a left footed strike from a tight angle that, to Bolton’s relief, was inches wide of Ben Amos’ far post.
Liam Feeney’s volley from a Wellington Silva corner was again expertly saved by Heaton, before another cross into the mixer was headed goal bound by Dervite, but Heaton once again came to Burnley’s recue.
On the counter though the Clarets were whiskers away from the opener. Good work from Gray and then George Boyd down the right flank kept the chance alive, before Scott Arfield played a one-two with Sam Vokes and drilled a fierce effort that brushed the left hand post.
Moments later the same two players combined once more. This time Arfield played Vokes through on goal and his shot past Amos was cleared off the line by retreating defender David Wheater.
But 10 minutes into the second half the Clarets finally broke the deadlock!
Vokes chipped over the back four to Gray, whose initial shot was wonderfully saved by Amos.
Ben Mee kept the ball alive with a cross that was cushioned into Arfield's pass by Boyd, and when the Scot's drilled, angled effort was parried by the former Manchester United goalkeeper, Gray made no mistake from six-yards.
Just six minutes later the visitors had a golden chance for an equaliser as Silva’s deep ball from the left was met by Feeney, but the midfielder’s volley could only find the side netting.
And it was Gray who doubled his tally for the day took his tally to four for the season to settle the spoils.
The Clarets found themselves in a three-on-two situation, with Gray and Vokes being the options for a driving Arfield, but the winger's reverse ball found the top scorer, who confidently smashed in the second from 12-yards.
There might have been a hat-trick for Gray after Vokes, who was in scintillating form all game, produced a magnificent ball to the far post, but his strike partner’s first time shot was well saved by Amos at his near post.
And when Tendayi Darikwa cleared Feeney''s header off the line with the clock ticking down, Bolton knew their number was up as the Clarets recorded their fourth home win of the season.
Burnley: Heaton; Darikwa, Duff, Keane, Mee; Boyd (Taylor 63’), Barton, Jones, Arfield; Vokes, Gray (Long 87)
Subs: Gilks, Ward, Lowton, Hennings, Kightly
Goals: Gray 56’, 68’
Yellow: Barton 24’, Darikwa 83’
Bolton: Amos; Osede, Dervite, Wheater, Casado; Silva (Dobbie 83), Pratley, Danns (Heskey 68), Spearing (Davies 36), Feeney; Madine
Subs: Rachubka, Gouano, Vela, Clayton
Yellow: Danns 66’, Casado 70’, Dervite 88’
Attendance: 17,632 (1762 away)